MIDDLETOWN >> Twenty years ago, Staples back to school ad campaign featured a dejected brother and sister watching their exuberant father fill a cart with supplies to the tune “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
Many parents whose children attend Glenwood Elementary School in the Rose Tree Media School District and Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools Saints Peter and Paul and Saints Simon and Jude in Chester County, however, have mixed emotions as September approaches.
The campuses are near the path of Mariner East 2, the massive pipeline system being built by Sunoco Pipeline L.P. to transport natural gas liquids such as propane, ethane and butane.
Construction concerns and fears of a possible hazardous materials release have moms and dads wondering if the schools their children love are the best places for them to continue their educations.
“When I visit Glenwood I see security and utility trucks taking up parking spaces and construction workers cutting down trees next to the parking lot,” parent Nicole Blaisse told the school board in June. “Hearing about how close it is one thing – seeing it is a whole other experience.”
Spanning Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, Mariner East 2 is a 350-mile system that will deliver natural gas products to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex, where it will be processed and stored for sale. The pipeline traverses rural counties in the central portion of the state and densely-populated ones in the east. In addition to its close proximity to a number of homes, apartment complexes and businesses, it is situated approximately 75 feet from the kindergarten playground at Saints Peter and Paul in East Goshen, and 100 feet from Saints Simon and Jude in Westtown. In addition, a portion of the valve station is slated for installation under a road just 650 feet from the Glenwood playground.
Like Blaisse, a number of…